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1

The Changing Family

Learning Objectives

Chapter Outline Lecture Launchers and Discussion Topics 1: What Is a Family? a. Some Traditional Definitions of the Family b. Some Current Definitions of the Family 2: How are Families Similar Across Societies? a. Family Functions b. Marriage c. Endogamy and Exogamy 3: How Do Families Differ Across Societies?

a. Nuclear and Extended Families b. Residence and Authority c. Monogamy and Polygamy 4: Family Structure and Social Change. 5: Some Myths About the Family.

a. Myths Can Be Dysfunctional b. Myths Can Be Functional c. Myths about the Past d. Myths about What Is Natural e. Myths about the Self Sufficient Family f. The Myth of the Family as a Loving Refuge g. Myths about the Perfect Marriage, the Perfect Family 6: Family Values: Perspectives on the Changing Family.

a. The Family Is Deteriorating b. The Family Is Changing, Not Deteriorating c. The Family Is Stronger than Ever 7: Trends In Changing Families.

a. Demographic Changes b. Racial and Ethnic Diversity 8: Why Are Families Changing?

a. Micro-Level Influences on the Family b. Macro-Level Influences on the Family 9: A Cross-Cultural and Global Perspective on the Family. 10. Conclusion

Chapter Objectives Upon reading Chapter One, students should be able to:


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1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9

Discuss the various definitions of the family. Describe the basic functions of families. Explain the common characteristics of Western marriages and the types of legal marriages in the United States. Compare and contrast the various forms of family structures and marriage types. Discuss the myths concerning marriage and family. Compare and contrast the three broad perspectives on how family is changing. Explain the major demographic changes in families. Compare and contrast the micro-level and the macro-level perspectives of why families are changing. Explain why a cross-cultural focus is helpful in understanding the American family.

Chapter Overview Contemporary family arrangements are becoming increasingly diverse and deviating from the ‘traditional’ married couples with kids image. These changes have been in motion for a long time, as adjustments to larger societal transformations that have gradually shaped and altered individual preferences. The family is defined in the text as an intimate group of two or more people who (1) live together in a committed relationship, (2) care for one another and any children, and (3) share activities and close emotional ties. Definitions of family have become broadened in recent decades to include the growing number of nontraditional families, including ties with fictive kin. They may become more complicated in the future, to include an egg donor, for example. Every society has social norms, or culturally defined rules for behavior. Families have many forms and structures, but the functions that families fulfill are very similar: legitimizing sexual activity (between married couples) and limiting sexual activity (between non-couple family members, i.e., incest taboo), bearing and raising children (socialization), providing emotional support (a distinction is made between a primary group and a secondary group) and economic security to family members, and social class placement. Marriage is a socially approved mating relationship that people expect to be stable and enduring, and is also universal. Marriage has many variations based on social norms, culture, and legal restrictions. For example, in modern Western societies, marriages must not be bigamous. Laws governing marriages have been changing, too, reflecting changes in the larger society. Marriages can also be ceremonial, nonceremonial or common-law. Marriages can also be distinguished between endogamy and exogamy. The former is a marriage between couples of the same racial/ethnic group, and the latter is a marriage between couples from different groups. Exogamous marriages have been on the rise in the last few decades. Marriages and families vary cross-culturally; social scientists make many distinctions. There are different residential patterns of families: patrilocal, matrilocal, and neolocal; and different patterns of descent: patrilineal, matrilineal, and bilineal. The different authority patterns include patriarchal, matriarchal, and egalitarian. There are different forms of marriage: monogamy, polygamy (polygyny and polyandry), and group marriage, and because of widespread divorce and remarriage in modern American society, we speak of serial monogamy. Family structure and social change are discussed in relation to a number of important concepts such as families of orientation (or family of origin) and families of procreation, and extended (or consanguine) versus nuclear families, are also important to note. Further, each family is part of a larger kinship system, or a network of people who are related by blood, marriage or adoption. There are five common myths about marriage and family: (1) families were happier in the past; (2) marrying and having children are the “natural” things to do; (3) “good” families are self-sufficient; (4) every family is always a bastion of love and support; (5) it is possible, and we should all strive to be, a “perfect” family. Myths can be functional or dysfunctional, or both functional and dysfunctional simultaneously, depending upon how they might affect members of a family.


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There are three broad perspectives on the changing family: (1) that the family is deteriorating; (2) that the family is changing but not deteriorating; and (3) that the family is stronger than ever before. Those who are extremely pessimistic about the family cite various trends to support their position: massive increase in divorces and desertions, high rates of children born out of wedlock, millions of latchkey children, large numbers of childless marriages, a decrease in the marriage rate, increasing numbers of single-parent families, and a loss of parental authority. Another group points to the fact that our contemporary family crisis has deep historical roots; that the family has been changing over time, but that this does not necessarily imply deterioration; the major problems families face are not the result of individual defects but a reflection of the difficulties of maintaining a family during periods of rapid change. Still others argue that the family is stronger than ever; that family life today is much more loving than in the past. The main reasons they give for their case of stronger family are higher levels of gender equality and more rights to all members of the family. Families have changed demographically, racially and ethnically. Among the demographic changes are an increase in nonfamily households, a growing number of single people and cohabitants; increasing divorce and remarriage rates; larger numbers of one-parent families; more working mothers; a higher incidence of stepfamilies; and far more poverty and homelessness among American families. Racially and ethnically, the large influx of recent immigrants has greatly diversified the profiles of American families in terms of languages spoken, religion and concentrations of ethnic enclaves. There are both micro- and macro-level explanations for the changes in families, with micro perspectives commonly assuming that people have many choices, while macro perspectives focus on the constraints that limit individual options. Among the constraints are economic forces, technological innovations, popular culture, social movements, and family policies. Throughout the text, a cross-cultural and global perspective is employed. Reasons for this include: (1) the fact that the U.S. population is a mosaic of many cultural, religious, ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic groups, (2) the world is an “international place” where changes facing families are not only national but are also global, (3) U.S. businesses recognize the importance of understanding other societies, (4) understanding the customs of other countries challenges our notion that the U.S. family forms are the norm, and (5) families are changing around the world

Teaching Suggestions and Discussion Topics 1. Develop a “knowledge survey” containing about twenty statements that you think students should confidently make after taking your course. An example could be: I have a clear understanding of the family development theory. Give three alternative response categories for them to circle: Very Confident, Somewhat Confident, Not at All Confident. Have students put their names on the survey sheet. Have the students fill out the knowledge survey at the end of the year and compare their respective responses and compile an aggregate comparison for the entire class. 2. You may benefit from three articles that have appeared in the American Sociological Association’s journal, Teaching Sociology. All three articles deal with different teaching strategies that you may wish to utilize in your classroom: Cheryl D. Childers’ “Using Crossword Puzzles as an Aid to Studying Sociological Concepts” (April, 1996: 231-135); Janet Cosbey’s “Using Contemporary Fiction to Teach Family Issues” (July, 1997: 227-233); and Stephen J. Scanlan and Seth L. Feinberg’s “The Cartoon Society: Using The Simpsons to Teach and Learn Sociology” (April, 2000: 127-139). 3. Benokraitis points out that academic definitions of the family are broadening to include the growing number of nontraditional families. Ask your students to think about what the family means to them. Pose the question, “What is required to have a family?” Must people be legally related in order to constitute a family? Do families have to include children? By encouraging class discussion along these lines, your students should come to appreciate the many different conceptions of the family in modern society. Ask students if it really does matter how we define the family. What are the consequences of different definitions? Use Appendix A1 as a handout for students if you wish.


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4. The Census Bureau recently (in late 2006) reported that married couple households have ceased to be the majority of all U.S. households. Have your students discuss this change, and how it is related to changes in diversity and norms of family structure as students see them or experience them. 5. Most likely you will have students who come from non-Western cultures. Ask them (by culture if available) to give an introduction of how family is structured in their culture(s) and how this structure has changed over the years, as they see it or experience it. Tie these introductions of non-Western families to the theme of the chapter. 6. Initiate a discussion on the reasons why families are changing. Ask students to identify the reasons given in the chapter for changing families, and then ask them if there are other reasons they can think of. Focus on the structure of the grand society and the effect of its changes on family. Finally, discuss cross-cultural differences in this aspect of change. In what cultures has the family changed relatively little in the last half century? In what cultures have we seen greater changes? Why is there a difference across cultures? 6. The text makes it clear that one of the acknowledged functions of marriage and family is the provision of emotional support. Sociologists have observed that this function of family has become even more important in modern society than it was in the past, while the other functions have been “replaced” by other social institutions. Have your students address the question of why the emotional support function has become more important in contemporary society. 7. Students who have never studied marriage and the family are likely to view kinship in terms of consanguine and legal relationships, rather than as sociologically significant relationships. You can enhance students’ understanding of kinship by emphasizing that consanguine ties are usually created through legal arrangements (principally marriage). The concept of “fictive kin” (“She’s like a sister to me”; “Uncle Harry,” etc.) can be employed to an advantage in illustrating how the most important dimension of kinship lies in the importance that we assign to such arrangements. 8. Benokraitis makes the classic distinction between families of orientation and families of procreation. This presents an excellent opportunity to illustrate how rapid social change can affect the viability of such concepts: Men and women who elect to remain single may never have families of procreation; in fact, we could even say that married couples who elect to remain childless technically fail to qualify for this title. Ask your students whether this means that these people’s lives are devoid of “family” with the exception of their experiences in their families of orientation? If such nonfamily-oforientation associations do, indeed, reflect family relationships, what should sociologists call them? 9. Students are likely to view forms of marriage other than monogamy as bizarre and deviant. The Cross-Cultural box, “The Outside Wife”, will, no doubt, elicit some interesting reactions from students. In order for them to better understand the explanations for these different marital forms, ask your students to think about the functions of such arrangements. An especially spirited discussion may ensue should you decide to ask students to speculate about the possible economic and sociological advantages and disadvantages of having more than one spouse. 10. Engage your students in discussion about the various myths that surround marriage and family. Ask them to list their three favorite television shows (not counting sports or shows that would not include a portrayal of marriages or families). Second, tell them to make note of how family issues are portrayed in these shows. Ask them to vocalize how their own families are similar to or different from what they see on television. Finally, pose the question, “How do television images contribute to myths about the family?” Two excellent sources to consider for discussion on these topics are Stephanie Coontz’s books The Way We Never Were: Americas Families and the Nostalgia Trap (1992) and The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America’s Changing Families (2000).


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Class Activities: In or After Class Assignments, Exercises, and Handouts 1.

Grab Bag Ice Breaker and Critical Thinking Exercise

Objectives: Get students engaged in the class. To have students begin to interact and feel comfortable with one another. Also, to get students to think about topics that will be discussed during the semester. Time needed: 10-15 minutes Directions: This exercise works well on the first day of class. Bring in small brown paper bags on the first day of class, one for each student. In each bag have a different item (for example, a measuring tape, a pencil, an alarm clock, a can of vegetables, a Valentine’s Day card, a rock, etc.) Have these bags sitting around the edge of the room. Toward the beginning of class ask students to pick out one of the bags, go back to their seats, and take out the item. Have each student, working alone write out a list of what her or his item has to do with marriages and families. Then, allow students to work in groups of 3-4 to help each other with their respective lists. Get back together as a whole class and discuss the meanings of these items for the study of marriages and families. Stress that there are no correct answers as the point of the exercise to get students thinking about issues concerning marriages and families. 2.

What Is Marriage and How Is Family Defined by Your Own Experience?

Objectives: To start the class by discussing the central topic of what is a family and what is marriage. Time needed: 10-15 minutes Directions: This exercise works well as a first day opener. Begin by having students think about and report (either orally in class or in writing) their own definitions of what is marriage and what is a family. Try to give attention to students from non-Western cultures and ask them to share their understanding of marriage and family with the rest of the class. Compare the student input with the definition given in the chapter. 3.

What Does a Family Do?

Objectives: To discuss and define the functions a family performs, with student input and participation. Time needed: 10-25 minutes Directions: Class can be divided into a few groups, depending upon how big the class is. Have each group work out a list of the most important functions the family fulfills, and report to the class as a whole, so that family functions can be discussed. Also discuss the historical change in family functions, as well as cross-cultural differences in these functions. Match student input to the discussion given in the chapter, and widen the students’ understanding. 4.

How Has Family Changed Over the Last Few Decades (or Generations)?

Objectives: Following the first two exercises, this one helps students probe the changing definition and functions of a family and marriage. Again, a cross-cultural emphasis is kept in mind. Time needed: 10-25 minutes Directions: Class can be divided into a few groups and each one is assigned a topic for discussion. At the end of the discussion each group reports to the class with conclusions. Topics can include changes in


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the family and marriage norms such as 1) size of the family (How many siblings did your parents have and how many do you have?); 2) gender roles in the family (Did your grandmother work outside the home? Your mother?); 3) What are the societal factors do you think that prompted these changes?; and 4) Is there any cross-cultural difference in these changes? 5. “Everything you always wanted to know about marriage and family but were afraid to ask…” Objectives: To create a classroom atmosphere of acceptance and inquiry. To have students engage in course material. Time needed: 15 minutes Directions: This exercise works well as a first day opener. Begin by having students think about and write down several questions that they may have concerning close relationships, but might have been “afraid to ask.” Assure them that these are anonymous. Collect the questions and categorize them by topic or issue. These can be used as a future lecture or discussion opener or as a double check to be sure that information and material is being appropriately addressed. It is often helpful to do this several times throughout the semester. 6.

Birth Order Icebreaker

Objectives: To encourage student interaction at the beginning of the semester and discuss family influences on values and development. Time needed: 15-30 minutes depending on whether the exercise is shared in small groups or in a larger discussion environment. Directions: Divide the class into birth order groups (oldest, middle, youngest, and only children). Have students learn each other’s names and then work together to make a list of characteristics they think describe their birth order group. Put these on the board, overhead projector or into a PowerPoint presentation, and while doing this, have the groups discuss characteristics they have about groups other than their own. Discuss reactions and responses either in the small groups or in a larger group setting. This exercise can be a good place to mention stereotyping. It can also provide a forum for discussion of gender and/or social class. Ask students to think about whether their responses might change if gender or social class changed. 7.

Genogram Construction

Objectives: To encourage student investment in course material. To have students make course material “personal” by applying concepts to their own family experiences. Time needed: At least 45 minutes if done in class, although this is often useful as an out of class assignment to be discussed in class. Directions: Have students drawn their family “genogram,” for at least three generations. If they prefer they can create a chart of their “fictive” kin or “family of choice” rather than biological family. Discussion can take place either in small groups or a larger format, depending on how much information students wish to share. Questions might include:   

Did you have ready access to the information needed or did you have to consult with a family “kin-keeper?” Is there anyone you might want to include or exclude? Why? Which person on the genogram are you closest to? Which one are you most estranged from?


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   

What are some of the family themes or values that are important on your genogram? (i.e. education, making money, health/illness issues, religion etc.) Are there any family communication patterns that may have been passed intergenerationally? What are your families’ attitudes about intimacy and sexuality? How is this communicated? Are there any “taboo” topics in your family?

Further information/example can be found at http://www.multiculturalfamily.org/text/genograms.shtml or http://genogram.freeservers.com/ 8.

Does Computer Use (i.e. Internet Use) Damage Close Relationships?

Objectives: To encourage students to think about environmental influences such as technology on relationships, and to encourage open dialogue and classroom discussion. Time needed: 15 minutes Directions: Present information from several key articles at http://www.apa.org detailing the research done on Internet use and depression/interpersonal communication, one interesting example is found at http://www.apa.org/monitor/apr00/linking.html?CFID=2911144&CFTOKEN=25664564 Ask students to share their experiences, impressions, and/or ideas about this topic. This can provide a good introduction to Chapter 2 and how research is conducted as well. 9.

How Has the Family Changed? Is the Change for “Better” or for “Worse”?

Objectives: To encourage students to think about changes in family structure and composition and what they mean. Time needed: 15 minutes Directions: Divide your class into three groups. Have each group take one of the perspectives on the changing family as presented in the text: “The family is deteriorating”; “The family is changing, not deteriorating”; “The family is stronger than ever.” Discuss it in detail, and then make a brief, joint presentation to the entire class about that particular perspective/approach. 10.

Causes of and Changes in Families

Objective: To get students to think sociologically about why families change over time. Time needed: 15 minutes Directions: Refer to Appendix A2. Have students get into groups of 4-5. Ask them to fill in the spaces relating to the causes (Macro-External, Macro-Intentional, and Micro-Developmental) for the high divorce and cohabitation rates today as compared with two generations ago. A source to review for this exercise is the January 2009 issue of Teaching Sociology. This is a special issue on 50 years of C. Wright Mills and the sociological imagination.

Audio-Visual Resources Beyond the Nuclear Family, 2008, 25 min. (Films Media Group). What is a family? This program offers a though-provoking look at the changing roles, structures, and functions of the family unit.


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CHAPTER 1: The Changing Family Quick Quiz: 1. Which of the following statements is true? a. Today, a majority of all persons aged 25 to 34 years have never been married. b. The median age at which people marry today is higher than at any time during the 20th century. c. On average, first marriages that end in divorce last 20 years. d. The “traditional� family (where the husband is the breadwinner and the wife is a full-time mother) became more common between 1972 and 2007. 2. Two generations ago the typical American family consisted of a. grandparents, parents, and children living in a single household. b. a single mother living with her children. c. a father, mother, and three or four children. d. a married couple who did not yet have children. 3. A marriage in which the couple must follow procedures specified by the state or other jurisdiction, such as buying a license, is called a a. ceremonial marriage. b. common-law marriage. c. legal marriage. d. licensed marriage. 4. Maria’s family is Catholic and insists that Maria marry a man who is also from a Catholic family. This practice of marrying within a certain group is called a. exogamy. b. incest. c. bigamy. d. endogamy. 5. The family into which a person is adopted or raised is called the family of a. orientation. b. procreation. c. restitution. d. adoption. 6. Which of the following is true about families of the past? a. They were happier and stronger than present-day families. b. Children were more likely to grow up in a nuclear family. c. Few people talked about issues such as domestic violence and child abuse. d. Parents spent more time with their children than they do today.


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7. Which school of thought about the family argues that most people put their own needs above their family duties? a. The family is disappearing b. The family is deteriorating c. The family is changing, not deteriorating d. The family is stronger than ever 8. Which of the following is a micro-level influence on the family? a. Technological innovations b. Popular culture c. Social movements d. Individual choices 9. The burgeoning marriage movement consists of people who a. are opposed to communal living. b. are alarmed by high divorce rates and the increase in cohabitation rates. c. support no-fault divorce laws. d. support legislation that allows women to combine their work and mother roles. Short Answer 10. Why have many social scientists challenged traditional definitions of the family?


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CHAPTER 1: The Changing Family Quiz #1: Answer Key 1. Answer: B Chapter heading/page #: Introduction/p.3 Question type: Factual; Question level: Moderate 2. Answer: C Chapter heading/page #: Introduction/p.3 Question type: Factual; Question level: Moderate 3. Answer: A Chapter heading/page #: How Are Families Similar Across Societies/p.8 Question type: Conceptual; Question level: Easier 4. Answer: D Chapter heading/page #: How Are Families Similar Across Societies /p.8 Question type: Conceptual; Question level: Easier 5. Answer: A Chapter heading/page #: Family Structure and Social Change/p.11 Question type: Conceptual; Question level: Easier 6. Answer: C Chapter heading/page #: Some Myths about the Family/p.13 Question type: Factual; Question level: Moderate 7. Answer: B Chapter heading/page #: Family Values: Three Perspectives on the Changing Family/p.16 Question type: Conceptual; Question level: Easier 8. Answer: D Chapter heading/page #: Why are Families Changing?/p.22 Question type: Applied; Question level: Easier 9. Answer: B Chapter heading/page #: Why are Families Changing?/p.23 Question type: Factual; Question level: Easier Short Answer 10. Answer: Because they exclude a number of diverse groups that also consider themselves family, such as childfree couples, cohabiting couples, foster parents and their charges, elderly sisters living together, gay and lesbian couples with or without children, and grandparents raising their grandchildren. Chapter heading/page #: What is a Family?/p.5


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Question type: Conceptual; Question level: Moderate


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TEST QUESTIONS: CHAPTER 1 The Changing Family Multiple Choice Questions 1. Since 1970, the percentage of single-parent households as a percentage of all households a. has gone down. b. has gone up. c. has stayed the same. d. is unknown. (Factual; answer: b; page 3) 2. The traditional definition of the “family” has included all of the following characteristics except a. being emotionally committed to one another b. living together c. forming an economic unit d. bearing and raising children (Conceptual; answer: a; page 4) 3. A primary group is characterized by a. impersonal relationships. b. few emotional ties to one another c. close, intimate interaction. d. short-term relationships. (Conceptual; answer: c; page 7) 4. “A socially approved mating relationship that people expect to be stable and enduring” is a definition of a. parents. b. family. c. marriage d. courtship (Conceptual; answer: c; page 7) 5. A marriage in which the couple must follow procedures specified by the state or other jurisdiction, such as buying a license, is called a a. ceremonial marriage. b. common-law marriage. c. legal marriage. d. licensed marriage


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(Conceptual; answer: a; page 8) 6. Generally the requirements for establishing a common-law marriage include all of the following EXCEPT a. living together for a significant period of time. b. getting blood tests. c. presenting oneself as part of a married couple. d. intending to marry. (Conceptual; answer: b; page 8) 7. Bigamy occurs when a. a married partner is unfaithful to his or her spouse. b. people have children without being married. c. a person marries a second person while a first marriage is still legal. d. people live together without being married. (Conceptual; answer: c; page 8) 8. Why is there no universal definition of the family? a. Very few people live in families anymore. b. Social scientists do not have enough data about the family to create a definition. c. Contemporary household arrangements are very complex. d. It is difficult to determine what types of families actually exist. (Conceptual; answer: c; page 4) 9. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s definition of family, which of the following groups would NOT be considered a family? a. elderly sisters living together b. a gay or lesbian couple living together c. a single father living with his biological children d. a married couple living with their adopted children (Applied; answer: b; page 4) 10. The text defines a family as an intimate group of two or more people who do all of the following EXCEPT possibly a. live together in a committed relationship. b. care for one another and any children. c. share activities and close emotional ties. d. marry. (Conceptual; answer: d; page 4-5)


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11. Nonrelatives who are accepted as part of the family are known as a. social kin. b. temporary kin. c. fictive kin. d. associative kin. (Conceptual; answer: c; page 5) 12. A household made up of a married parents and their biological or adopted children is called a(n) a. nuclear family. b. extended family. c. family of origin. d. dual earner household. (Conceptual; answer: a; page 8) 13. Cultural norms and laws which forbid sexual intercourse between close blood relatives are called a. exogamy rules. b. incest taboos. c. endogamy rules. d. initiation rites. (Conceptual; answer: b; page 6) 14. Julie and Rick are married. Julie is Asian and Rick is African American. Their marriage is a. exogamous. b. endogamous. c. incestuous. d. bigamous. (Applied; answer: a; page 8) 15. The process by which children acquire the language, the accumulated knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and values of its society and culture and learn the social and interpersonal skills needed to function effectively in society is called a. emotional support. b. socialization. c. rationalization d. social placement (Conceptual; answer: b; page 6)


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16. Supplying material resources for the family, such as food, shelter, and clothing, is part of the family’s __________ function. a. socialization b. economic security. c. emotional support d. procreation (Conceptual; answer: b; page 6) 17. According to Charles Horton Cooley, groups that are characterized by close, long-lasting, intimate, and fact-to-face interactions are called a. secondary groups. b. families. c. primary groups. d. teammates. (Conceptual; answer: c; page 17) 18. A(n) __________ is a category of people who have a similar standing or rank in society based on their wealth, education, power, prestige, and other valued resources. a. social class b. family of origin c. kinship system d. extended family (Conceptual; answer: a; page 7) 19. Shelby married Tracy and had two children. Tracy and the children are Shelby’s family of a. orientation. b. recognition. c. origin. d. procreation (Applied; answer: d; page 11) 20. A network of people who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption is called a(n) a. extended family. b. kinship system. c. family of orientation. d. family of origin. (Conceptual; answer: b; page 11)


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21. The family form which consists of parents and children, as well as other kin such as uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews, cousins, and grandparents is called the a. nuclear family. b. family of procreation. c. family of orientation. d. extended family. (Conceptual; answer: d; page 8) 22. The family form that is most common in much of the world is the a. nuclear family. b. extended family. c. family of procreation. d. blended family. (Factual; answer: b; page 8) 23. The type of marriage in which one person is married exclusively to another person is called a. polygamy. b. nuclear. c. primary. d. monogamy. (Conceptual; answer: d; page 10) 24. The term “serial monogamy� refers to a situation in which a person a. marries several people over their lifetime but is only married to one person at a time. b. is married exclusively to one person for their entire lifetime. c. is married to two or more persons at the same time. d. cohabits rather than remarries after a divorce. (Conceptual; answer: a; page 10) 25. Marriages in which either the husband or the wife has two or more spouses is called a. polygamy. b. polygyny. c. polyandry. d. monogamy. (Conceptual; answer: a; page 10) 26. A woman who has more than one husband is practicing a. polygamy. b. polygyny. c. polyandry. d. monogamy.


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(Conceptual; answer: c; page 10) 27. Polyandry may have existed in societies a. where matriarchy is the predominate family form. b. in which there is a shortage of men. c. with plentiful access to food. d. where it is difficult to accumulate property. (Factual; answer: d; page 10) 28. Jamal and Tanya have just married and moved into an apartment of their own to live by themselves as a couple. This residency pattern is called a. patrilocal. b. matrilocal. c. neolocal. d. bilocal. (Applied; answer: c; page 9) 29. Kelly and Anthony have just married and moved in with Anthony’s parents. This residency patterns is called a. patrilocal. b. matrilocal. c. neolocal. d. bilocal. (Applied; answer: a; page 9) 30. Since the early 1990s, increasingly young married adults have tended to live a. with the parents of the husband. b. by themselves in their own residence. c. with the parents of the wife. d. with the parents of either the wife or husband – or sometimes with the grandparents of one of the partners. (Factual; answer: d; page 9) 31. In ________________ family structures, both partners share power and authority about equally. a. matriarchal b. patriarchal c. neolocal d. egalitarian (Conceptual; answer: d; page 9-10)


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32. According to the text, people who have the “nostalgia bug” aren’t aware of several facts, including a. teenage pregnancy rates were higher in the 1950s than they are today. b. people have been talking about and writing about child abuse and domestic violence since the early 1900s. c. parents spend less time with their children today than in the past. d. most marriages were happier in the past than they are today. (Factual; answer: a; page 13) 33. Family myths about what is “natural” include the belief that a. married couples must be everything to each other. b. people should get married and have children. c. families should be self-sufficient. d. families are safe places. (Factual; answer: b; page 13) 34. Which of the following statements is TRUE concerning self-sufficiency and the American family? a. Few families—past or present—have been entirely self-sufficient. b. Most families in the past were entirely self-sufficient. c. Middle class families tend to prosper because they are self-sufficient. d. Only the poorest families tend to need help from the government. (Factual; answer: a; page 13) 35. To say that the family is a “haven in a heartless world” is to say that the family should a. be mostly self-sufficient. b. physically care for elderly family members. c. be the only group responsible for raising children. d. provide, love, nurturance, and emotional support. (Conceptual; answer: d; page 14) 36. All of the following statements are part of the myth of the perfect marriage EXCEPT a. couples should be good providers. b. couples should be fantastic sexual partners. c. couples should be spiritual soul mates. d. couples should be of the same race and ethnicity.


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(Conceptual; answer: d; page 15) 37. According to several national surveys examining the value we place on marriage and the family, a. Americans rank their family as less important to them than work or religion. b. few high school seniors say that having a good marriage and family are extremely important. c. the majority of first-year college students say that raising a family is “very important” in their lives. d. most “millennial” teens (those born after 1982) say they do not trust or feel close to their parents. (Factual; answer: c; page 15) 38. The text points out that the status of the family continues to spark debate among three schools of thought. Which of the following is NOT one of these schools of thought? a. the family is disappearing b. the family is deteriorating c. the family is changing, not deteriorating d. the family is stronger than ever (Factual; answer: a; page 16) 39. People who adhere to the “family is deteriorating” school of thought think that a. as soon as an individual realizes that she or he is unhappy in a marriage, she or he should leave. b. financial success is the most important factor in keeping families together. c. marital partners should increase their sense of entitlement and decrease their sense of duty. d. marriage should exist for the sake of children and not just for adults. (Conceptual; answer: d; page 16) 40. Many who endorse the “family is deteriorating” perspective imply that the family could be shored up if a. men and women waited to get married until they were older and more mature. b. people had fewer children to care for. c. fathers were breadwinners and mothers cared for children and the home. d. fathers spent more time nurturing their children. (Conceptual; answer: c; page 16) 41. According to the “family is changing, not deteriorating” perspective, a. family problems such as desertion, out-of-wedlock birth, and child abuse have always existed. b. the mother who works outside the home is a new phenomenon. c. few single-parent families existed prior to 1950. d. divorce did not become available until the late twentieth century. (Conceptual; answer: a; page 16-17)


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42. Between 1900 and 1950, the percentage of single-person households a. stayed the same. b. decreased dramatically. c. increased dramatically. d. was largely unknown. (Factual; answer: c; page 17) 43. Some social scientists argue that, despite myriad problems, families are happier today than in the past because a. people are usually happier in remarriages than first marriages. b. there has been an increase in multigenerational relationships. c. the minimum wage is now adequate to raise a family. d. adult children are not expected to live with their parents. (Factual; answer: b; page 17) 44. Studies examining the amount of time parents spend with their children have shown that a. children spend less time with their parents today than was the case several decades ago. b. children spend more time with parents today than was the case several decades ago. c. children in families where both parents work tend to spend less time with their parents than was the case several decades ago. d. the amount of time children spend with their parents has not change for the last several decades. (Factual; answer: b; page 18) 45. What are the two demographic changes that have had the most far-reaching consequences for family life? a. declining birthrates and an increase in the average age of the population b. more marriages and a decline in birthrates c. shorter life expectancy and higher divorce rates d. higher divorce rates and an increase in the average age of the population (Factual; answer: a; page 18) 46. The “empty-nest syndrome� refers to a. living by oneself after a divorce. b. childless couples. c. the departure of grown children from the home. d. the rise of one-parent families


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(Conceptual; answer: c; page 18) 47. According to the Census Bureau, which of the following is NOT a nonfamily household? a. a single woman living by herself b. a gay or lesbian couple living together c. two or more roommates living together d. a childless married couple living together. (Applied; answer: d; page 18) 48. Which of the following statements is TRUE concerning nonfamily households in the U.S.? a. the percentage of nonfamily households has decreased since 1970 b. the percentage of nonfamily households has increased since 1970 c. the percentage of nonfamily households has stayed the same since 1970 d. the percentage of nonfamily households in the U.S. is greater than the percentage of family households (Factual; answer: b; page 18) 49. Part of the increase in one-parent families is due to a. couples cohabitating rather than marrying. b. the surge in births to unmarried women. c. the decline in remarriage after divorce. d. the decline in the number of children under 18. (Factual; answer: b; page 18) 50. Which group makes up one of the fastest growing households? a. married people with children. b. cohabitors with children. c. roommates. d. singles. (Factual; answer: d; page 18) 51. Which of the following is NOT a reason why singles make up one of the fastest growing groups? a. Many young adults no longer value marriage. b. Many young adults are postponing marriage. c. People are more likely than in the past to outlive a partner. d. Older women who are divorced or widowed remarry at much older rates than do older men. (Factual; answer: a; page 18)


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52. What types of marriages are especially likely to end in divorce? a. first marriages of women over 30 b. marriages entered into because the woman became pregnant c. marriages in which the couple had children d. marriages where the husband is younger than the wife (Factual; answer: b; page 19) 53. Between 1960 and 2000, the proportion of children living with a never-married parent a. decreased. b. stayed the same. c. increased. d. could not be measured. (Factual; answer: c; page 19) 54. Among one-parent families, most are a. father-child families. b. grandmother-child families. c. parent-grandparent families. d. mother-child families. (Factual; answer: d; page 19) 55. Of mothers with children under 6 years of age, __________ are in the labor force. a. very few b. a minority c. a majority d. an unknown number (Factual; answer: c; page 19) 56. Which of the following statements is true concerning where ethnic families live? a. Ethnic families tend to live mainly on the west coast or east coast. b. Ethnic families tend to move to areas with few other ethnic families to avoid competition for jobs. c. Ethnic families tend to cluster in areas with established immigrant communities that can help newcomers find housing and jobs. d. Federal government policies have encouraged immigrants to live in many different geographic regions. (Factual; answer: c; page 21)


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57. To study people’s choices, social scientists often take a(n) __________, focusing on individual’s social interactions in specific settings. a. macro-level perspective b. micro-level perspective c. global perspective d. objective perspective (Conceptual; answer: b; page 21) 58. To study constraints that limit individuals’ options, focusing on large-scale patterns that characterize society as a whole, social scientists take a(n) a. objective perspective. b. micro-level perspective. c. macro-level perspective. d. global perspective. (Conceptual; answer: c; page 21) 59. Which of the following is a micro-level influence on the family? a. Technological innovations b. Popular culture c. Social movements d. Individual choices (Conceptual; answer: d; page 22) 60. Which of the following is a macro-level level influence on the family? a. economic forces b. contraceptive practices c. difficulty balancing various roles d. communication styles among married partners (Applied; answer: a; page 22) 61. Televisions, videocassette recorders (VCRs), microwave ovens, and personal computers are examples of a. economic shifts. b. social movements. c. family policies. d. technological innovations. (Applied; answer: d; page 22)


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62. Laws about when and whom we marry are an example of a. social movements. b. family policies. c. economic shifts. d. technological innovations. (Applied; answer: b; page 24) 63. Which of the following is NOT one of the reasons why it is important to have a cross-cultural and global perspective when understanding the family? a. The U.S. today is a mosaic of many cultural, religious, ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic groups. b. The world is shrinking and thus we are more likely to come into contact with family practices and customs in other cultures. c. U.S. businesses recognize the importance of understanding other societies. d. Understanding the customs of other countries supports our ideas that U.S. family forms are the norm. (Factual; answer: d; page 24) True and False 64. Traditionally, a family has been defined as two or more people living together who are emotionally committed to each other. (Conceptual; answer: False; page 4) 65. Every society has norms, or culturally defined rules for behavior, regarding who may engage in sexual relations, with whom, and under what circumstances. (Factual; answer: True; page 6) 66. Most couples today plan to stay child-free. (Factual; answer: False; page 6) 67. Some socialization is unconscious and may be unintentional, such as teaching culturally accepted stereotypical gender traits. (Factual; answer: True; page 6)


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68. The family is a primary group because it provides nurturance, love, and emotional sustenance. (Conceptual; answer: True; page 7) 69. People in the same social class tend to have similar attitudes , values, and leisure interests. (Conceptual; answer: True; page 7) 70. Common-law marriage is an example of a ceremonial marriage. (Conceptual; answer: False; page 8) 71. Exogamy requires people to marry or have sexual relations within a certain group. (Conceptual; answer: False; page 8) 72. As the number of single-parent families increases in industrialized countries, extended families are becoming less common. (Factual; answer: False; page 8) 73. The most common pattern of authority in the family is patriarchy. (Factual; answer: True; page 9) 74. Many Americans think they have egalitarian families but our families tend to be patriarchal. (Factual; answer: True; page 10) 75. Serial monogamy is having two or more spouses at the same time. (Conceptual; answer: False; page 10) 76. In contrast to polygyny, polyandry is common in many societies. (Conceptual/Factual; answer: False; page 10)


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77. Most people are born into a biological family, or family of orientation. (Conceptual; answer: False; page 11) 78. Most popular television shows are rarely representative of real families. (Factual; answer: True; page 12) 79. Myths about the family can be both functional and dysfunctional. (Factual; answer: True; page 12) 80. Chances of not growing up in a nuclear family were much greater in the past than they are now. (Factual; answer: True; page 13) 81. All families provide love, nurturance, and emotional support to their family members. (Factual; answer: False; page 14) 82. Most people have realistic expectations about what marriage is like. (Factual; answer: False; page 15) 83. Those who believe the “family is deteriorating” argue that the changes we are experiencing are extensions of long-standing family patterns. (Conceptual; answer: False; page 16) 84. Those who believe that the “family is changing, not deteriorating” might point out that family problems such as desertion, out-of-wedlock birth, and child abuse have always existed. (Conceptual; answer: True; page 16-17) 85. Some social scientists argue that despite myriad problems, families are happier today than in the past because of the increase in multi-generational relationships. (Factual; answer: True; page 17)


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86. Mothers and fathers spend less time interacting with their children today than they did in 1965 when many families were male-breadwinner/female-homemaker families. (Factual; answer: False; page 18) 87. Since the end of the eighteenth century, most American women have been bearing fewer children, having them closer together, and finishing child rearing at an earlier age. (Factual; answer: True; page 18) 88. The U.S. Census Bureau's definition of a family household would include cohabiting couples. (Applied; answer: False; page 18) 89. The number of married-couple households with children under age 18 has increased over the last forty years. (Factual; answer: False; page 18) 90. The majority of married women with children under the age of six are in the paid labor force. (Factual; answer: True; page 19) 91. In the largest cities of some states---especially those in California and Texas---the percentages of people who don't speak English are higher than those who do speak English. (Factual; answer: True; page 20) 92. When social scientists focus on large-scale patterns that characterize society as a whole, they are using a micro-level perspective. (Conceptual; answer: False; page 21) 93. Technological innovations and economic forces are examples of macro-level influences on the family.


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(Conceptual; answer: True; page 22) 94. Technologies, such as email and the internet, can have positive effects on family relationships. (Factual; answer: True; page 23) 95. Since Latino families are huge consumers of prime-time television, many TV shows now feature Latinos and Latino families. (Factual; answer: False; page 23) 96. Government rarely gets involved in our private family lives. (Factual; answer: False; page 24) 97. Understanding the customs of other countries supports our notion that U.S. family forms are ideal. (Factual; answer: False; page 24-25)

Short Answer 98. Why is there no universal definition of the family? Contemporary household arrangements are complex and traditional definitions usually exclude a number of diverse groups that consider themselves families, e.g. child-free couples, cohabiting couples, foster parents and their charges, elderly sisters living together, gay and lesbian couples with and without children, and grandparents raising grandchildren. (Conceptual; page 4) 99. Do television shows accurately reflect family structure? Why or why not? As reflected in many television shows, diverse family structures are more acceptable today than ever before. However, at the same time, some of the most popular programs are rarely representative of real families. For example, children are shown living with single fathers when most children live with both parents or only their mother. (Factual; page 12)


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100. State two ways that social class can affect family life. Social class affects when people marry, how many children they have, how parents socialize their children, and how partners and spouses relate to each other. Lower social class is associated with greater risk of adolescent non-marital childbearing, dropping out of high school, committing street crimes, child neglect, and engaging in domestic violence. (Factual; page 7) 101. Why are extended families living together or nearby becoming more common in industrialized societies? Such families make it easier for a single parent to work outside the home, raise children, and perform household tasks. (Factual; page 8) 102. List two ways that myths about marriage and the family can be dysfunctional. We may feel that there is something wrong with us, or become critical of our family members, if we or they do not live up to some idealized image. Myths can divert our attention from widespread social problems that lead to family crises. (Conceptual; page 12) 103. List two ways that myths about marriage and the family can be functional. Myths can give us hope that we can have a good marriage and family life. Myths can free us from guilt and shame. (Conceptual; page 12) Essay 104. Compare and contrast the three perspectives on the family—family is deteriorating, family is changing, not deteriorating, or family is stronger than ever—as to how they would view the increase in unmarried couple households in the United States. Family is deteriorating: This perspective is worried that we are in a “marriage crisis” and would view unmarried couple households as part of the larger “family decay” in our society, which includes high rates of divorce and children born out of wedlock, latchkey children, single


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parent families, and an increase in the number of people deciding not to get married. This perspective would argue that couples live together rather than marry because they lack individual responsibility, lack commitment to each other, and are just plain selfish. Couples who do not marry are putting their own needs above family duties. This perspective would argue that marriage exists for the sake of the children and not just for adults and a couple who is not married is not stable enough to raise kids well. Family is changing, not deteriorating: This perspective argues that the changes in the family we are experiencing today are extensions of long-standing family patterns. This perspective also notes that there have always been problems in the family, and that today’s families are not as bad off as some people think. If people are living together before getting married, this may be in response to divorce rates that have been increasing over many years. And if in fact people postpone marriage until they are older, are more mature, and have stable careers, this may be a good thing. Also, the family over all is coping with these societal changes and can adapt to alternatives to marriage such a living together. Family is stronger than ever: This perspective would argue that the family is much more strong and loving today than it was in the past because family members have more equitable roles at home and are more accepting of diverse family forms (such as unmarried couple homes). Also, most Americans believe that marriage is a lifetime commitment that should end only under extreme circumstances, and living together before marriage may be a way of trying to make that happen. (Conceptual; pages 18) 105. How have the demographic trends in changing families discussed in the chapter been reflected in your own family? Student can discuss what type of family (married couple with or without children, single parent) or nonfamily household they live in, whether they or anyone in their family is remaining single or cohabiting, whether they or members of their family have divorced and remarried, or if their mothers worked in the paid labor force while they were young, or whether their grandparents are still living. (Applied; pages 18-20)

106. Choose one (or more) of the following macro-level influences on the family and discuss how it has affected your own family: economic forces, technological innovations, popular culture, social movements, and family policies. Economic Forces: The student could discuss how the nature of the economy has changed, such that both their parents had to work or that they are postponing marriage and parenthood to get a college education. Student could also discuss negative impacts such as unemployment and job dissatisfaction and their affect on their family. Technological Innovations: The student could discuss how birthrates in their family have declined and how family members are living longer due to medical advances which may result in


Test bank marriages and families changes choices and constraints 7th edition benokraitis